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Stanly County couple with Parkinson's Disease participating in 208-mile relay race to raise awareness

The team of 12 runners all with Parkinson's Disease will race through the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Virginia.

STANLY COUNTY, N.C. — Life with Parkinson's Disease can be difficult, but Stanly County couple Steven Eury and Allison Toepperwein eventually found each other despite being a thousand miles apart to help make coping with the illness a bit easier.

Two years later, the two are preparing to get married next month. But ahead of that, the couple is also preparing to participate in a 208-mile relay race through the Blue Ridge Mountains on Sept 9. and Sept. 10.

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They'll be joined by a team of 10 other runners all who have Parkinson's.

“The camaraderie, coming together and really raising awareness," Toepperwein said.

Studies show Parkinson's is the fastest growing neurological disease and, aside from medication, consistent movement is another way to help slow the progression of the illness.

“When we got hit with this initially it may have broken us, knocked us to our knees but we rebounded," Toepperwein said.

Now she and Eury have made exercise a part of their daily routine. Toepperwein is a two-time American Ninja Warrior competitor. The next big challenge is tackling this relay race.

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“We keep a positive attitude, pray a lot and thank God for our blessings," Eury said.

All the money raised through the Blue Ridge Relay Race will be donated to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's research. Those interested in donating to the cause can contribute online through UnCorked Adventures. 

Contact Briana Harper at bharper@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. 

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